Over the weekend I did something I usually don't do…cleaned. I'm good at cleaning my body both inside and out, but when it comes to house cleaning, I can usually find lots of other options.
My cleaning activity began as a desire to organize all my nutritional products, herbs, green powders, and superfoods so I could be more regular about using them.
One thing led to another, and I decided the kitchen cupboards that stored these things needed to be better organized to facilitate using them regularly.
Soon, all my bottles of vinegar, kelp powder, spices, coconut butter, etc. filled my counters, and I trashed things I found hidden in the back of the cupboard that were no longer recognizable. I cleaned the shelves, made a trip to the container store for a couple of Lazy Susans, and after a couple of hours, I breathed a sigh of relief.
Everything was neat, organized, and viewable.
The next morning, I was looking for a particular piece of paper I thought was in my bedroom. This led to another cleaning frenzy with a couple of trips to the recycling box in the garage.
I actually got all the junk moved off my art table (which I haven't used in a long time)!
The clean up made me realize how much I miss painting and pottery, and it led me to make a commitment to enjoy these hobbies regularly. While I've always understood clearly how internal cleansing can be the key to giving us the energy to do the things we love, I love how external cleansing can be equally boosting!
In fact, feeling inspired and motivated by my kitchen and bedroom cleansing, I *just* signed up for a pottery class starting in January!
Until late February, I'll be enjoying one night a week rediscovering an activity that brings me joy. I'm really looking forward to using my wheel and kiln again!
After all, one of my recommendations for good health is daily fun.
A Daily Dose of Vitamin Play
It's easy to get too wrapped up in all the musts of life that we forget about the fun stuff. It's time I renewed my commitment to daily fun by starting to do art again.
My plan is to take some time off over the Christmas break, spend quality time with my family, and do some art…enough to make it a habit that I can bring into my day to day life.
Is there something you love to do that's been sitting dormant for a while?
Playing an instrument?
Art? Crafts? Puzzles? Hiking?
Give it some thought. Make a list and then choose something fun to do on a regular basis. If daily fun doesn't fit your schedule, then start with at least a couple of times a week.
Fun Features You'll Appreciate
Speaking of fun, one of my radio show guests in January is going to teach you why play so important and will motivate you to get started. Her name is Brenda Loube and she's the author of You Can Play! You can catch our interview together on January 5th, 2012.
This week's show will be fun, too. My friend and co-teacher, Chef Karen Osborne will join me as we talk about fun ways to turn simple foods into beautiful party trays to serve guests or bring to an event. Some of the photos of Karen's brilliant creations are featured here.
My appreciation journal on the blog is officially drawing to a close. It's been so rewarding! Please go here to read the grand finale! Discover a very special tribute to some wonderful people, an announcement for a Gift of Gratitude Contest, and the opportunity to post your own appreciations.
Even if public posting of your appreciation is not where you're at right now, I do so encourage you to play the appreciation game as you stroll through your day.
Make Gratitude a Game!
Every time you have a change of scenery, i.e. move to a different room or invite people into your space, find a few things to notice, acknowledge, and appreciate.
Today, I'm looking at my art in a whole new light when I enter the living room, and it feels great! I can't wait until there is more pottery gleaming from my shelves
The word is out. Appreciation is the most powerful tool for shifting the stressful thoughts and feelings that knock you out of balance into soothing, calming ones that create a healing environment. You get to choose.
While I won't be continuing with the daily appreciation blog posts, I am inspired to post my appreciations at least once or twice a week. I do so hope you join me.
With much love and appreciation,
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo
P.S. Much appreciation to all those who are taking the plunge and joining me for a holiday green cleanse experience.
What a way to say no to holiday temptations and yes to a body you love.
The Five Most Useful Lab Tests
for Measuring Your Health
As a new year approaches, it's good idea to assess your health status and make informed decisions about what you need to do next to get your body in the best health ever.
While I feel that oft times, practitioners over-rely on lab testing and use it instead of applying clinical detective tools, like a good interview and exam, still there are many lab tests that I believe are super important to guide you to making informed decisions about what to eat, how to move, and what supplements might be needed.
The basic lab tests performed as part of the “annual physical” contain a tremendous amount of information about your nutritional status and your health…far more than most conventionally trained practitioners know to look for.
The Basic Lab Test: Understanding what “Normal” Means
The ranges used by most doctors are those calculated by the lab. Sadly, for most tests the way they decide if a value is normal or abnormal is based on the average values of all the lab tests done by that lab. So when you're told you are “normal” what It really means is that you're average.
I, for one, fail to feel encouraged to be told I'm average in a land where close to 50% of the people get cancer, autoimmune disease is epidemic, hormone imbalance is rampant, and heart disease and diabetes kill millions each year.
As a functional medicine practitioner, I look at optimal ranges calculated from studying healthy populations.
The List of Five Lab Tests that are Helpful Guides to Optimal Health
The following list is not meant to be comprehensive. Check with your doctor to determine the best tests for you. If you don't have a primary care doctor or do but don't have insurance coverage for lab tests, I suggest you check out one of the direct access labs that allow you to order your own blood tests.
The one I use is called Direct Labs – http://www.directlabs.com.
These panels are unfortunately only available in the continental U.S. excluding New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island due to state laws in these localities. If you live outside the U.S. or in one of these states, speak to your local health practitioner or seek a functional medicine doctor in your area to get help with ordering tests.
1. Comprehensive Wellness Profile (CWP)
I like to start with a comprehensive blood chemistry panel and Complete Blood Count (CBC). Direct Labs calls this the Comprehensive Wellness Profile, aka CWP. It's a panel of over 50 tests that assesses your thyroid, kidneys, liver, cholesterol and other blood lipids (fats), minerals, fluids and electrolytes, and blood sugar.
The CWP also includes the aforementioned Complete Blood Count test, which assesses your immune system and determines if you have anemia and what kind of anemia if so.
Click HERE for details.
Even if you're outside the region that can Direct Labs to run the test for you, you can see what's covered and be better informed when you speak to ypour local practitioner about orderint the equalalent for you.
2. Vitamin D
Next, I add Vitamin D. This is a very important test to run, as Vitamin D deficiency is very widespread due to the fear of the sun propagated by the media. Vitamin D is made by your body upon exposure to UV sunlight. Deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to widespread problems, including altered immune system function, including autoimmune disease, leaky gut, depression, hormone imbalance and much more.
If you're tired, overweight, have dry skin, depression or constipation, your thyroid might be off. While the CWP tests thyroid, it's not always enough. The most common cause of low thyroid function is an autoimmune condition. For this, I suggest you add to the mix 2 tests for thyroid antibodies: Thyroid Peroxidase and Antithyroglobulin.
4. Blood Sugar
If you have a history of blood sugar imbalance, hard to get rid of belly fat, fatigue, or a family history of diabetes, I also recommend additional tests to assess your blood sugar status and determine if you have a tendency towards insulin resistance or diabetes. The CWP includes fasting blood glucose, but often this is not enough to give the true blood sugar balance picture.
I recommend also running fasting insulin and hemoglobin a1C. In addition, you can purchase an inexpensive blood sugar meter at your local pharmacy or online and really get the complete picture.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Sadly, for about 50% of people with heart disease the first symptom is dropping dead of a heart attack. This happened to BOTH my parents. Wouldn't you like to know if you are at risk BEFORE a fatal event so you can take the steps to reduce your risk?
If you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, or find that your cholesterol tends to be higher than ideal, there are a couple of really useful tests. C-Reeactive Protein (CRP-hs) is a marker of inflammation in your blood vessels and homocysteine is an amino acid that plays a role in destroying the lining of your artery walls, promoting the formation of blood clots, and also accelerates the buildup of scar tissue. High levels may increase the chance of heart disease and stroke, especially if you have other risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, or family history.
I suggest you run CRP-hs and homocysteine tests if you feel you are at risk. There are also much more detailed and sophisticated cardiac risk tests, including one called VAP, that I order when appropriate.
Extra tests I often run when indicted by symptoms and health history are the adrenal stress index and a fatty acid test to determine the balance between the oh-so-important omega 3 and 6 fats and risk for inflammatory disease.
How to Determine Which Tests You Need
When I'm working with someone one on one, I do a complete history and determine which tests would be helpful.
My Assess Your Own Body Chemistry class was designed to empower you to take charge of your own health. The program teaches you how to read your own lab work, as well as physical signs and symptoms.
We'll be releasing the self-study version of the course in early 2012. It's an excellent way to learn how to read your own body.
Finally, if you are overweight, crave sugar or carbs, and feel like you need to eat frequently to maintain your energy, you most likely have a blood sugar imbalance. In this case, I recommend you get yourself a glucose meter and start to track your response to foods.
The participants in my recent B4 Be Gone System learned how use a glucose meter to track their blood sugar in response to their foods and realized the tremendous value in knowing just how each food affected them. Knowing YOUR response to particular foods guides you in designing a diet that keeps your belly flat, your mind sharp and focused, and your energy high. The B4 Be Gone System will be available again for a live group setting in February 2012.
Before you get yourself tested, make a commitment to take good care of yourself. Get the white stuff out and the green stuff in.
If you've been feeling off or overweight in spite of a good diet, it's time to do some testing and see what's out of balance.
Measuring your health is the best way I know to really determine how your habits are serving you.
Watch here for more information and resources for lab testing over the next couple of months.
Download Dr. Ritamarie's “Hush Hush” List of Hormones and Strategies for Busting Your Holiday Bulge
Recently, I hosted a free teleseminar on a topic that struck a chord with a lot of people. After only a couple of announcements, relatively last minute at that, we had well over 700 people register and the number is still growing.
On the call, I talked about 3 mysterious hormones that can change your shape, improve your outlook, energize your body, and protect your health!
You'll have to listen to the recording to find out all the juicy details, Health-Seeker!
Register now and listen to the recording to learn the details while you take notes on the the BONUS checklist of strategies for getting these hormones working for you rather than against you!
The checklist link is on the audio page you'll receive access to when you register, but not for long. This is a limited time only bonus and will be taken down on the morning of Friday, December 9th.
P.S. When you register, you can also find out about a special invitation and offer I've extended for my Energy Recharge Green Cleanse starting next week!
Dr. Ritamarie's Energy Recharge Green Cleanse
December 12th, 2011
For seven days, you can revitalize yourself with the power of parsley, charge yourself with Swiss chard, and get your kick for life back with kale! You'll learn all about the miraculous ability of green smoothies and blended greens to restore and heal your body. That great inside feeling is going to shine through you with a beautiful glow that will be brighter than any wrapped gift you put under the tree this year.
A live group Green Cleanse experience is one that deserves to be shared, so in the spirit of the holidays, for a limited time, you can invite a friend for free to participate.
Freshen the Life of a Friend
On December 12th, 2011 we'll be kicking off a 7-day Energy Recharge Green Cleanse designed to ward off those gingerbread and candy cane pounds that will soon come knocking at your waist. While others will be running their bodies ragged with processed foods and the extra stress of the holidays, we'll be staying lean, green, and SERENE!
For a limited time, until 5 p.m. Thursday, December 8th, you can join the Energy Recharge Green Cleanse AND invite a friend or loved one as a gift.
Plus you'll also get to participate in another cleanse in 2012 – a new and improved version that will take cleaning to the next level. And you'll get monthly support and information calls between cleanses. All this for one VERY low investment.
There are already a lot of bonuses offered with the Energy Recharge Green Cleanse – all geared towards guiding you to making healthy habits fun and lasting. There are recipe guides, videos, and audios on topics such as emotional eating, gut health, food allergies and eating in the wild.
This time around, we have new bonuses – a 43 page e-book of low-glycemic juices, smoothies and soups, new menu plans and an awesome transition back week to help you make the healthiest choices during the winter holiday season.
An Extra Unannounced Bonus!
If you register and invest in full by 5 p.m. on Thursday, you can enjoy a free seat in the upcoming Party and Potuck Nibbles that Nourish online class, and if you are already registered for that one, you can choose any Raw Food University Class instead.
Check out the Energy Recharge Green Cleanse at:
You can cleanse using green smoothies, juices, soups or whole green foods. Let me show you how!
Join the hundreds of others who've shed unwanted pounds and inches, increased their energy and opened their minds and hearts to the joy that vibrant health inspires.
and Information Night
Once a month, you can join us LIVE in Austin, Texas for a local raw food potluck where you can:
- Meet like-minded people and make new friends.
- Learn new and exciting recipes.
- Gather valuable health and nutrition information.
- Feel supported on your health quest.
Click HERE to learn more about the event and find out all the details on what to bring and what to expect.
- Friday, December 16th, 6:30 p.m. central (New Date!!)
What our attendees have to say about recent potlucks:
- “Great meetup, great food, great folks!” — Joy Johnson
- “Great food and great people, and a warm welcoming experience (it was my first time and I felt at home!)” — Audrey
Click below to follow this Meeting Group on Facebook!
- Join us in person and get to sample the delicious raw food recipes or learn to make these dishes from the comfort of your own home.
- Join us live via the web and watch the video of the class as it unfolds.
- Enjoy a recorded video from any of our past classes.
All class participants receive a recipe guide e-book and fully indexed online video class you can watch over and over.
- December 11th, 2011 – Party and Potluck Nibbles that Nourish
Check here for upcoming details on our future classes and schedule!
Celebrate and Rejuvenate!
December 11th, 2011
Live and Recorded
Presented by Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo, Karen Osborne, and Pamela Weems
Whether you're entertaining for the holidays or looking for that perfect dish to take to a party or potluck, you'll find a recipe in this class that will raise eyebrows and delight taste buds!
Not only will these dishes meet all your expectations when it comes to elegance and taste, they also come with a fat-pant-busting guarantee that you won't pack on the extra holiday pounds when you stick to these dairy-free, sugar-free, and gluten-free whole food options.
Register for this class and learn how to make nourishing and nutritious holiday dishes that will make your next party platter a hit including:
- Can't Be Beeten Ravioli
- Tantalizing “Tuna” Paté
- Satin “Salmon” Mousse
- Tasty Trimming Nut “Cheese”
- Crowned Cucumber Canapés
- Shiitake Basil Bites
- Tomato-Wee Wonder Boats
- Stuffed Zucchitti Bitties
- Cheesy Apri-chios
- Ambrosial Amaretto Truffles
- Ravishing Rose Cream Squares
- and more!
Remember, all recipes are made with 100% gluten free, dairy free whole fresh foods – no sugar, no processed oils, no grains, and no cooking!
Includes 2 1/2 hours of recipe demonstrations and all the recipes in a PDF e-Book!
You never have to worry about missing a class! All of our delicious, health-boosting Raw Food University classes are recorded. You can access videos and recipes in PDF format for any of our past classes including:
You'll find a complete list of past classes available HERE.
Future Show Schedule:
- Thursday, December 8th – Ho Ho Hold the Sweatpants! Healthy Holiday Nibbles
- Thursday, December 15th – Shaping Up for the Holidays
- Thursday, December 22nd – Decorating Your Holiday Stress
- Thursday, December 29th – Create an Inspired Health Vision for 2012
- Thursday, January 5th – Playtime – Living Life to the Fullest
It's that time of year again. Holiday parties abound and along with it come the growing waistline. This year don't trade your skinny jeans for sweatpants.
Events with friends and family should be all about feeling good, not guilty!
You can enjoy feeling confident about attending those holiday gatherings with wonderful fun treats and nibbles shared by Dr. Ritamarie and Chef Karen Osborne.
8:00 am PT, 9:00 am MT, 10:00 am CT, 11:00 am ET
Click here to attend the show!
It's the same thing year after year. People gorge themselves throughout the holiday season and then resolve that come January they are back on track to lose weight.
This year, try something different.
Shape up FOR the holidays and not after. Instead of joining your friends in gaining the Santa belly, look sexy in your holiday clothes.
Here are the latest shows we've added:
Sleep is often taken for granted when people go looking for lifestyle changes that will make a dramatic difference in their health.
Dr. Ritamarie should know. She recently discovered herself what happens when you push your body's sleep deprivation limits too far.
There are many amazing transformations in your body that occur when you shut down for some shut eye.
In this show you'll learn:
- all the amazing hormone dances that happen when we sleep
- the liver's role during sleep
- how to stoke your fat-burning furnace during sleep
- the benefits of sleep for your immune system, adrenal glands, and mental clarity
- and the dangers of getting inadequate sleep
Hitting the pillow is just as important as hitting the gym! Joining Dr. Ritamarie on the show is Dr. Lindsey Berkson, hormone specialist. She will share how sleep affects your hormones which in turn affect your health. Stop losing sleep over your health and attend this important show!
If you're a vegan, vegetarian, raw food enthusiast, food allergy sufferer or just someone who wants to eat more healthfully and manage your weight, Thanksgiving is a challenging time of year.
What typically happens after you eat the rich, full course Thanksgiving meal that is the norm in most American families? Do you feel full of life, ready to go for a walk and appreciate the wonders of nature or do you want to collapse in a heap on the couch, bursting at the seams and feeling a bit sluggish?
Food temptations abound, as does pressure from often well meaning friends and family members who want to be sure you're enjoying the bounty.
I know you want to keep your commitment to your healthy diet and lifestyle, yet you want to fit in, and enjoy the celebration with everyone else.
Maybe you've tried adapting traditional recipes, but haven't been impressed with the results. Or perhaps you've experimented with recipes from magazines or newspaper articles, but your friends and family members weren't particularly impressed. Or maybe you're new to eating fresh whole foods, and you don't have a clue about how to begin.
Dr. Ritamarie is here to help you stay on course this Thanksgiving and onward through the holiday season. This show will be chock full of tips for meals, and ideas on how to handle those family issues around not eating the typical Thanksgiving meals.
Check out Dr. Ritamarie's Thanksgiving Feast Recipe Book: http://www.drritamarie.com/Thanksgiving/
At some point in time, most of us get lost on our paths to good health.
We overeat, indulge in choices not good for us, and stop exercising. These choices tend to take a huge toll on our bodies creating a myriad of dis-ease and pains.
But there is no reason you have to continue living this way. Joining Dr. Ritamarie is Dr. Linda Berry.
Dr Linda empowers you to transform stress into a mighty fuel to power your life and dreams. She knows how because at 24 years old she was paralyzed from an automobile accident. Before that, Dr Linda was a dancer, choreographer, and purple belt in Karate. She rose up from her wheelchair to become a chiropractor, nutritionist, and trauma healing specialist.
Dr Linda is an internationally known author. Her book Internal Cleansing has been in print for 24 years. She's been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox news.
Join this dynamic duo as they cover rejuvenation, smiling your way into distress, and being happy with your weight.
Visit Dr. Linda on the web:
She's a Doctor of Chiropractic with Certifications in Acupuncture, Clinical Nutrition, HeartMath® and Herbal Medicine as well as a certified raw and living foods instructor, chef and coach. She's the author and co-author of several gluten-free vegan and raw foods recipe books including: Power Breakfast Ideas, Deliciously Quick Lunch and Dinner, Healthy Halloween Treats, Dessert: Making it Rich Without Oil and Dried and Gone to Heaven.
She's also the creator of many successful online courses designed to restore people to the health, energy, and vitality they need to live full and vibrant lives.
There is no prescription for being a Trendsetter, but you can compare your goals and achievements with the benchmarks made by those in this book. In this book, we give you a number of our Celebrity Experts® who are Trailblazers and Trendsetters, including Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo.
They have done it! These are successful experts who made their mark and share with you how they and their concepts developed. Find out more about this Amazon best-seller here…
One thing that all holidays and celebrations have in common is their focus on food. Holidays are a time of celebration and cheer. They're special events when you set aside time to get together with friends and family to simply appreciate each other. I love the festivities, the decorations, the parties and the connection with the special people in my life. Find out more here…
They're all comfort foods that we turn to in times of emotional upheaval, boredom or loneliness. When you eat your favorite comfort foods, you feel great…for a little while. Until the discomfort sets in. Read more here…
The Taste of a Cleansing Christmas
Apples and cinnamon are always a favorite holiday taste. This recipe, one of my Energy Recharge Green Cleanse smoothie recipes, is guaranteed to have you feeling fresh and festive!
Apple Cinnamon Green
- 1 head Bok choy
- 1 apple
- 1 pear
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch of cardamom
- Blend all ingredients until smooth.
- Add water or juice to desired consistency.
The Energy Recharge Green Cleanse Recipe Guide includes over 80 green-packed recipes!
You'll also receive two BONUS green recipe e-books with the program: a collection of 50 tried and true recipes from our Green Cleanse participants and a new Low-Glycemic e-book where over 50 of Dr. Ritamarie's non-fruit juices, smoothies, and soups are gathered for those who are watching their blood sugar.
Click here for all the details:
Internationally recognized speaker, author and mentor, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo is the “Woman's Fatigue Expert and Vibrant Health Mentor.”